The Croc Catchers NT: Teacher Notes

Video highlights from The Croc Catchers NT

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TEACHER NOTES
TELEVISION SERIES      
 
The Croc Catchers NT

LEARNING LEVEL            
Upper Primary, Junior Secondary

CURRICULUM RELEVANCE    
Science


PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION FOR TEACHERS
Follow the Northern Territory's specialist Crocodile Management Unit as they go about the job of keeping crocodiles and people safe. Filmed during their busiest time of the year, The Croc Catchers examines what life is like for Australia's most historic reptile and the people who dare control it. Big, brash and ruthlessly fast, the saltwater crocodile is designed to be the ultimate, opportunistic predator. In the early 1970s, Australia's "salties" were on the brink of extinction. Now, under the full protection of the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, these powerful creatures have returned in full force, outnumbering residents in the Northern Territory. With more than 100,000 wild crocodiles in the Top End alone, management of these reptiles is a break-neck business and a job left to the five fearless members of Northern Territory's specialist Crocodile Management Unit. One man has already lost two fingers in the fight to catch and relocate these ancient predators. Can he and his team keep both populations safe?


BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS
The Northern Territory is one of Australia’s tourism hotspots, drawing myriad visitors each year. Darwin, its thriving capital, sits right in the middle of prime saltwater habitat. Five specifically trained government rangers form the last line of defence between crocodiles and humans. They patrol an area the size of the United Kingdom, removing crocodiles from its key waterways in an attempt to keep the sprawling city safe.


Last century, Australia’s crocodile population was on the brink of extinction, hunted mostly for its skins. However national legislation was put in place in the 1970s to ensure the animals’ survival, and they’re thriving once again. This documentary highlights the people employed to keep crocodiles and humans safe from one another.

The Croc Catchers are a tight-knit team. Led by Tommy Nichols, who has 31 years of experience with salties, he is working with two new recruits in this episode: Dani and Rachael. Rachel is a city girl who has always dreamed of working in the wild, and she is still learning as the team sets out. Dani has been with the team for a year. Raised in an offshore indigenous community in remote northern Australia, she has only ever wanted to be a wildlife ranger working with crocs.

The team sets out to check their strategically positioned traps. Once a croc is found, they must move quickly, securing the animal’s powerful jaws, covering its eyes to keep it calm, and tranquilising it. Its vital statistics can then be measured and recorded, and the animal marked for identification. Captured crocodiles cannot be released into the wild because they are migratory animals, capable of swimming long distances, and could easily return to the capture site. Instead, they’re transferred to the croc farm.

At night, the team may be required to make a harpoon run to capture crocodiles reportedly monstering boats and waterways. While one team member holds the spotlight, another mans the harpoon, aiming the barbs just below the skin where they won’t cause lasting injury.  


CURRICULUM POINTERS

Upper Primary Curriculum
The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop understandings about science and its processes, the scope of its contributions to our culture and society, and its applications in our daily lives.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale


Junior Secondary Curriculum
The science curriculum addresses the diverse needs of Australian students by providing them with scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed and responsible personal, social, technological and environmental decisions that impact at the local, national and global levels and to participate, if they so wish, in science-rich careers.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale


CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Upper Primary
In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will develop:
•    an interest in science and a curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions and speculate about the changing world in which they live
•    an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs
•    an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims


Junior Secondary
In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will develop:
•    an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs
•    an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account moral, ethical and social implications
•    an understanding of historical and cultural aspects of science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
Australian Science Curriculum 2010: Aims


 

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